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Cry of the Banshee (1970)

 -  Horror  -  22 July 1970 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,041 users  
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In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Essy Persson ...
Lady Patricia Whitman
Hilary Heath ...
Maureen Whitman (as Hilary Dwyer)
Carl Rigg ...
Harry Whitman
...
Sean Whitman
Marshall Jones ...
Father Tom
Andrew McCulloch ...
Bully Boy
...
Burke
Pamela Moiseiwitsch ...
Maid
Joyce Mandre ...
Party Guest
Robert Hutton ...
Party Guest
Guy Deghy ...
Party Guest
...
Oona (as Elizabeth Bergner)
Patrick Mower ...
Roderick
Victoria Fairbrother ...
Margaret Donald (witch) (as Pamela Farbrother)
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Storyline

In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to destroy the lord's family. (The "banshee" of this tale bears no resemblance to the normal usage of the term!) Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Edgar Allan Poe probes new depths of TERROR!

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Banshî no sakebi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Gordon Hessler in his interview on the DVD version of this movie, the whole film was shot "at the mansion of Gilbert and Sullivan" - that is, of Arthur Sullivan and William S. Gilbert. As they did not live together, he is probably referring to the country residence of W.S. Gilbert. See more »

Goofs

This film is set in the 16th century. But in the first scene, when the girl is branded, she opens her mouth to scream and shows a full set of teeth with amalgam fillings. See more »

Quotes

Maureen Whitman: It's as though we're all seeds of evil.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are divided into "The Establishment, "Witches", and "Villagers". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Planet Terror (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Midgrade Vincent Price Film
22 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film is set in Elizabethan England and revolves around a wicked magistrate who tries to kill all the members of a coven of witches. This makes the leader of the coven, Oona, sworn enemies of the lord and his family. To get revenge Oona calls up a magical servant, a "sidhe", to destroy the lord's family. The titular "cry of the banshee" is the signal that someone will die.

Vincent Price carries this film, as there are no other big name actors to speak of. Mike Mayo says he is "not at his best" but "still fine", and that is a fair assessment. But even at just "fine", Price is more enjoyable to watch than most others of his generation.

The remainder of the cast, as I said, is hardly notable. There is Stephen Rea, who was later nominated for an Oscar, appearing in his first film role (he did a couple of television appearances before that). And there is a man named Guy Pierce in a very small role, but it is not the guy you think it is.

If you are like me, and loved the opening titles, thinking they looked like something out of Monty Python... you would be right. The title sequence was designed and animated by future Python Terry Gilliam. Gilliam, of course, has gone on to do huge things, but his work here is greatly appreciated!

For some reason, there is a happy song sung by a man with a lute about a maiden who is raped by a huntsman, and then gets her revenge on him by castrating him. I do not know how to feel about this being sung as an uplifting ballad.

Overall, the film is good, but not the best. Vincent Price has better films as a witch hunter (including "Conqueror Worm") and better films in general. Still worth seeing, but do not put it at the top of your list. And do not try to find the banshee in this film, because one does not exist. Sorry.


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